On Father's Day, my treat for my dad was dinner: a little roast beef with all the fixings.
But the real treat was one of my mother's favourite things to make at this time of year: strawberry shortcake. My sister makes the shortcake and my mom mixes the strawberries with whipped cream, and when you put it all together it's one of the best desserts around. So simple, but at the same time so darn good.
Strawberries are in full swing here in British Columbia. Ever since I was a kid they have been one of my favourite fruits, and it's memories like that that have influenced my cooking. Ask any of the great chefs in the world - cooking as a child with their mothers is very much a part of who they now are as a chef.
I could have shared with you a very basic shortcake recipe, but instead I took another memory of mine and added some twists.
My very first job at 14 was in the food court at Vancouver's Pacific National Exhibition. I was working at a place called Fisher Scones. All day, we served fresh-baked scones with butter and jam. You cannot get any simpler than that.
My favourite part came at the end of each night, when we were allowed to bring the leftovers home. My mom and dad loved me for that, as for two weeks they had fresh scones for breakfast.
Behind the stand, we would take the warm scones, crumble them and mix them with strawberries and whipping cream, and man they were good.
This recipe has fresh-baked scones mixed with wild strawberries, oranges, limes and cilantro. A little bit of a difference and a little more work than a regular shortcake recipe, but when you throw it all together it is a real treat.
Strawberry and citrus shortcake with warm scones and Grand Marnier
For the scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon shortening
¾ cup cream
Preheat oven to 375F
Combine flour, baking powder and sugar, then fork in the butter and shortening. Mix the egg and the cream together and mix into dry ingredients. Add a pinch of salt. Place on a floured surface and cut into small rolls. They do not have be shaped perfectly, as when they are done you will be crumbling them to use for the shortcake.
Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
Set aside and keep warm.
For the fruit mixture
2 cups wild strawberries, stems removed and sliced in half
1 lime, zest and segments
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest and segments
¾ cup sugar
½ cup Grand Marnier
Small bunch of cilantro
Small bunch of mint
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup sour cream
Combine the strawberries, lime segments and orange segments along with the juice of the lemon, all the zests and half the sugar along with the Grand Marnier.
Chop the cilantro and mint with a touch of the sugar, and add this to the mix as well.
In a large, chilled, stainless-steel bowl or mixer whip the cream with the remainder of the sugar until you get soft peaks. When it is done, fold in the sour cream.
To plate, have four large martini glasses slightly chilled.
Place some the of cream mixture on the bottom, then crumble some of the warm scones on top. Place some of the strawberry mixture on top of that, followed by the cream again.
Repeat until you are finished with a layer of cream on top.